Ryan O’Reilly named Conn Smythe winner
Ryan O’Reilly was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player of the NHL postseason.
O’Reilly, 28, had eight goals and 15 assists, and dominated at the faceoff circle to lead the Blues in their Stanley Cup Final victory. He was tied for the leading scorer of the playoffs, and was the leading scorer of the Stanley Cup Final.
“It’s tough to describe. The Cup is the ultimate goal and [I was] just trying to go out there and be the spark and try to make a difference,” O’Reilly said. “And looking at the names on this thing and to be a part of that group, most of these guys on here I pretended I was as a kid and now to be on there with them, it’s an incredible feeling. I can’t believe that we hung on and got this done.”
O’Reilly said after Game 7 he played with a cracked rib suffered in St. Louis’s second-round series vs. Dallas.
O’Reilly became the first player to score a goal in four straight games in the Final since Wayne Gretzky in 1985. He joins Mark Messier as the only two players to have a six-game point streak in the Final.
The 10-year veteran was traded to the Blues by the Buffalo Sabres last summer, and played in the postseason for just the third time in his career, and the first time in five seasons, when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was considered a candidate for the award prior to Game 7, but he allowed four goals in the Bruins’ 4-1 loss Wednesday.